Flight attendant's rant disrupts Chicago flight

March 9, 2012 8:16:18 PM PST
A flight to Chicago was delayed three hours after a flight attendant went on rant over the loudspeaker about the plane crashing.

American Airlines Flight 2232 had left the gate in Dallas and was taxiing when the flight attendant started a 15-minute rant over the plane's PA system.

"She said, 'I'm not responsible for this plane crashing,"' Bethany Christakos, passenger, said. "And that's when everybody started freaking out."

"She spoke in and out of Spanish. Talked about the flight crashing, that we were going to go back to the gate," Carolyn Kazmi, passenger, said.

"We were pretty frightened. We knew something was wrong. It was almost like she was talking and didn't realize the PA was on," Stephen Termunde, passenger, said.

"She had said, 'I'm the number one in charge,' something about 23 years being there, started talking about bankruptcy. But it really got everyone's attention when she said, 'There's a problem. We have to go back to the gate,'" Christakos said.

Another flight attendant tried to interrupt, but was shouted down. Flight 2332 remained on ground as the rant continued. Passengers said an off-duty pilot in first class intervened.

"He tried to subdue her, and then the flight attendant that was up there with him tried to assist. And then that's when a couple from first class had to jump in and actually wrestle her to the first couple seats," Termunde said.

Passenger Brad LeClear of Fox Lake, Ill., ran up from coach to help.

"I tried to talk her down and calm her down a little bit. She said she was bipolar. So we continued to hold her until authorities arrived, and when they showed up we helped put the cuffs on. Get her off the plane," LeClear said.

"In my head throughout the whole flight [were] the sounds of her just screaming," Christakos said.

The plane returned to the gate, where it was met by police. The flight attendant was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

American Airlines apologized to passengers. The second flight attendant went to the hospital with what passengers described as a wrist injury.

American Airlines spokesman Ed Martelle said that "an incident occurred involving some of the cabin crew," and that two flight attendants were taken to local hospitals for treatment. He declined to provide their names or information about their injuries or conditions. Martelle said customers were not in danger at any time.

A new crew was called in and the flight made its way to Chicago without incident, arriving about three hours late.

An airport official in Dallas said he does not expect any charges to be filed against the flight attendant.

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